My faith became real to me in high school. In my excitement, I took in all the information about God I could get. If someone said that God said something, I took their word for it. I thought that was they way to growth – just accept what you are told.

Those were the days of the first Gulf War. I occasionally watched “bible prophecy” preachers on TV. They claimed that the war was fulfilling a long list of prophecies from the Bible. They insisted that the war was the beginning of the battle of Armageddon, and that Jesus’ return was just around the corner.

The preachers on TV said that it was all in the Bible. I wanted all the Bible that I could get, so I believed them.

Then I was faced with the reality of events. The predictions that the prophecy preachers made did not occur! Jesus didn’t return in 1991. The first Gulf War ended, and it was not the Armageddon of the Scriptures.

Then I was faced with the reality of what the Bible actually said. I majored in Bible in college, including a semester in Jerusalem. I discovered that the TV preacher’s favorite bible prophecies had nothing to do with the Gulf War.

Reality taught me some difficult, but important lessons. When a person declares that the Bible says something, it doesn’t always mean that is what the Bible really says. A preacher shouting that God says something, doesn’t always mean that is what God really says.

While I once believed that the most spiritual thing you can do was to accept everything you were told without question, I have learned that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to ask questions about what you are told.

I am not referring to hostile, fearful agenda-driven questions. Those normally do more harm than good.

I am speaking of the questions that you ask when you hear things said about someone you love, the questions you ask when you hear things about someone you long to know more fully. I would not believe everything said about my wife. Nor will I believe everything said about God.

In that spirit, I have discovered one of the best spiritual disciplines and one of the greatest acts of worship is to question what we are taught about God. God will be delighted to meet you in your questions.